Sara Bonomi: “This Is How The Future Looks!”
Sara Bonomi is a marketer specialized in hardware with a focus on 3D printing.
She was recognized as “one of the 25 most influential women in 3D printing worldwide” by 3D Printing Media Network. She builds marketing and communications strategies for B2B technology products. Sara worked both in startups and large multinationals, with a focus on direct and channel marketing.
She has spoken about hardware, female empowerment and 3D printing at events and conferences such as re:publica Berlin, Inside 3D Printing Düsseldorf, MakerFaire Berlin, FASHIONTECH Berlin, Medtech Europe, SMAU Berlin, Munich Hardware meetup. She is currently working as the EMEA Channel Marketing Lead at Formlabs.
Nora Toure: Sara, could you let us know about your background and what brought you to 3D printing in the first place?
Sara Bonomi: I am originally from Italy but have lived for 10 years, in Australia, France, Spain, USA and now Germany. I did my Bachelor in Economics and Management, worked one year at DELL and then did my Masters of Science in Marketing. After that, I was trying to get a job in San Francisco, which was very tricky because I didn’t have a visa.
I was going to a networking event every evening to find a cool company who was willing to do the visa process to hire me. It was then when I met Espen Silversten, one of the co-founders of Type A Machines. They were looking to hire their first marketing person, so it was a great lucky coincidence. I think the fact that both Espen and Andrew, the other founder, were not American, made them understand my case better. It was 2012 and I’ve been working in 3D printing ever since.
Nora Toure: Can you describe your very first experience with 3D Printing?
Sara Bonomi: When I walked for the first time into the Type A Machines office, which was located at TechShop in San Francisco, I remember getting immediately captivated by the movements of the FDM printers. The extruders were whirring. The colorful PLA spools were spinning. They had racks and racks of printers which were running non-stop, printing any sort of cool objects and colors. It was incredible! I thought: this is how the future looks like!
Nora Toure: You have experience in both Europe and the USA, pushing marketing strategies for 3D printer manufacturers. Are there key differentiators between those territories in terms of marketing?
Sara Bonomi: Absolutely. From what I’ve experienced, the US market is usually quicker and more eager to adopt innovations. There are a lot of enthusiastic makers and hobbyists who purchased a 3D printer directly from the manufacturer. It’s usually easier to launch direct marketing and communications strategies in the US, as one approach fits the whole market.
Europe is a more complex territory, as it is very segmented by language, culture, and currency. European consumers and companies usually prefer to buy from local resellers who can guarantee training, warranty and technical maintenance. Manufacturers need to localize their websites, work on channel marketing activities with their resellers, and get into the local press.
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